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I was on a forum recently that had taken on the topic of my Comedy Evaluator Pro software. The overall consensus was that stand-up comedy is an “art” and laughter is not an important or even a noteworthy gauge for identifying a comedian’s skill on stage.

Oddly enough, these same folks tend to get severely pissed when I say that hiding behind the “art” of stand-up comedy is absolutely no excuse for sucking on stage as a comedian.

Note: I didn’t set the standards for stand-up comedy excellence.

In keeping with my stance that a COMEDIAN’S job is to generate laughs at the highest level, regardless of the subjective “art” part involved…

Let’s look at stand-up comedy from different perspectives.

Let’s assume that you are in a packed comedy club. After the opening act breaks the ice and has warmed up the audience they say:

“OK, now you get to select one of two comedians to come to the stage next. One comedian generates 5 seconds of laughter each minute on stage. The other comedian generates 20 seconds of laughter on stage. The choice is yours.”

Which comedian would you choose?

Now, let’s flip the script a bit.

Which comedian would YOU rather be:

A comedian who generates 20 seconds of laughter per minute on stage or a comedian who generates 5 seconds of laughter per minute on stage?

Let’s flip the script once again…

As a talent agent or booker, which comedian are you going to want to hire:

A comedian who generates 20 seconds of laughter per minute on stage or a comedian who generates 5 seconds of laughter per minute on stage?

For any comedian who chooses to hide behind “art” as justification of delivering stand-up comedy that generates mostly telepathic laughter…

Go for it. You will not be alone for sure—there are tons of so-called “comedians” that are more than willing to proclaim that the “art” of stand-up comedy cannot simply be measured by my software, nor does generating laughter really matter in the “bigger” picture.

And that’s exactly where I will put the kibosh on that nonsense every single time—without hesitation or reservation.

Laughter generation is the ultimate result of successful execution of the “art” of stand-up, as well as a DIRECT reflection of an individual’s true skill as an “artist” — which encompasses their style, wit, sense of humor, perspective, etc. That’s why they are called COMEDIANS…

Is it a bad thing that this can be objectively measured? Just ask any comedian who CAN’T deliver 18+ seconds of laughter for each performing minute or doesn’t employ any sort or performance improvement activities…

Yes, they will tell you it’s a bad thing or doesn’t really matter. And I will tell you that…

Back in the day, they used to sniff goat urine as a means to combat bubonic plague. That mentality didn’t work either.


Leading stand-up comedy educator and trainer, providing proven 21st century strategies and techniques for individuals who wish to become comedians on a professional level. For a detailed stand-up comedy resume go to: Steve Roye's Stand-up Resume.